South African telecom major MTN Group is in talks to acquire Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML), reports Hindustan Times citing sources. Sources told the publication that the discussion is still in early stages. The report also quotes an undisclosed corporate lawyer who had apparently advised Tata during the DoCoMo stake sale who mentioned that Tata Group had held two rounds of preliminary discussion with MTN recently. MTN and Tata Sons spokespersons however declined to comment on this to the publication, providing a boilerplate response: "We do not comment on such speculation". It's worth noting that Vodafone was earlier rumored to be in talks to acquire both the companies from Tata Group, enabling the latter to exit the telecom industry altogether. However, the report says that the talks broke down earlier this year following differences over valuation. NTT DOCOMO had earlier announced plans of selling its entire 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices through the equity method by June 2014. The company had an an option to sell its stake for Rs 7,250 crore (about 50% of the acquisition price) or a fair market price, whichever is higher. Last month, the company had told Medianama that it plans to exercise this right at the beginning of July. It's currently not clear whether NTT DOCOMO has already exercised this right or not. We've written to NTT DOCOMO on this and will update once we hear back. Tata Sons' investment in Tata DOCOMO That being said, Tata Sons has apparently pledged shares of its group companies Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Power to raise Rs…
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